how to have a kick-arse wedding under $3000

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Don’t want to spend a lot of money on a wedding but still want to have it all?  I’ll tell ya how I did it!!  I am still on a high after having the most perfect day and you can have that too.

I was 6 and a half months pregnant when we got married so I really didn’t want to be stressing about everything being perfect and because of this, everything turned out more perfect than I could have organised. Keep a lot of things simple and then get fancy with a few things that mean the most to you and RELAX AND ENJOY: don’t be a bridezilla!

We wanted to invite about 70 guests and our priority was to create a loving and warm atmosphere for ourselves and our guests.  We managed to do all of this and have our dream wedding and reception for a total cost well under $3000.  Below are some tips to help you have the wedding that you want without putting yourselves in debt.

Celebrant . Find one that has a price that is inclusive of as many meetings and paperwork as necessary.  A lot of celebrants charge a base rate and then charge extra for paperwork, filing of documents, any more than one meeting etc.  Avoid those if you can.

Invitations.  Personalised and D.I.Y invitations are very popular and all you to create the atmosphere for your wedding from the get go.  We used photoshop to create our own (see cropped picture below).  We chose a photo from a day together we loved and then used a font we liked to type the details over the top and had it printed.  We got a lot of compliments for our invitations which surprised me!

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Rings.  We were lucky and found a jeweller having a 40% off sale! wooohoooo!!  I definitely recommend not rushing into buying the first ring that you really like, it pays to shop around and take your time with this purchase and absolutely jump on any big sales!!

Reception.   Your reception is one of the biggest expenses for your day.  Backyard receptions are on totally on trend and allow you to really personalise your day for all of your guests.  Choose a colour theme you like and keep it simple to enhance your surroundings.  Nothing is better for a ceiling than the sky at sunset and stars at night for your reception although it is good to have a wet weather plan.  Your decorations can be made or sourced by you leading up to the day (e.g jars as tealight candle holders, old food tins as vases, fairy lights for extra ambient lighting)

Keepsakes.  Make your keepsakes personal for your guests to take home and remember the day.  Your gifts can be doubled as the placenames.  I have seen little pots of tealeaves with names of the guests on them and small mirrors or soaps with guests names carved in.

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Bridal party.  Bridesmaids and groomsmen can buy their own clothes for your day however for the Bride and Groom this can be a huge expense. Shopping online can save a lot however this expense totally depends on the people involved.  I was happy with a beautiful dress I scored second-hand but that is not for everyone.  If you can resell your dress after the big day then you can make some money back.

Flowers.   Purchase these at a lesser cost from the local markets rather than the florist – put the bouquets and button hole flowers together yourselves and saved so much!!

Photographer.  Enlist a friend/family member (or two) who is into photography….. many people would think this is risky but after attending heaps of weddings and seeing the photos that “professional photographers” come out with I am positive you will get a great result (we did) as long as they take a lot (and i mean a lot) of photos. You never use all of the photos that you get done and with everyone having smartphones etc you end up with hundreds of gorgeous photos.

Food.  If you are really thrifty you can (and enlist help to) make the food for your guests and save thousands.   You have so many options of how you would like to cater your wedding from a tea party style reception to cocktail party with finger food and you will save a bunch of money.  A great idea I have seen is to have a mexican style theme for your food and have a build your own tacos/nachos bar, everyone loves mexican, its filling and not too expensive to put together.

Alcohol and other drinks – keep an eye on cleanskin and internet based wine sales – you save a tonne of money and can get very high priced wines for a very reasonable amount.  Beer and softdrinks can be bought on sale from supermarkets and liquor warehouses for very reasonable prices.

Music.  This is easy to sort out.  Load  your iphone with two playlists; one for the dinner and one for the dancing!!  You can even time it all perfectly as your program for creating these will tell you exactly how long your playlist will be.

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All of your guests will have an amazing day and will love the relaxed  and personal but well organised feel of the day, Most importantly the bride and groom should sit back and relax and totally enjoy the wedding and reception without dramas or money worries – the day is about you remember!!

Make your own dreams come true and ya don’t even have to break the bank!!  What we spent on our wedding we made back with our gifts (we had a wishing well) and that meant that we got to have the honeymoon of our dreams!!

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I was never a big believer in weddings until I had one and now realise it is one of the most awesome things to experience and I highly recommend it!

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6 thoughts on “how to have a kick-arse wedding under $3000

  1. Congratulations 🙂 I love your idea of a wedding, fun and relaxed AND on the beach! That’s right up my ally 😉 and your tips above are great for anyone on a budget.
    Great article! And again, congratulations. You look happy 🙂

    • Hey Anne, Thanks so much! – for both the congrats and the great feedback 🙂 I have never written before and you are the first person to commment so I am over the moon that you liked it!…. more to come, you have inspired me that little bit more! x

      • How cool, I myself is also a newbie blogger, I started mine three months ago. And as you have never written before. But we all have to start somewhere 😉 your off to a running start, so keep up the good work and before you know it you’ll be a “seasoned pro” 😉

  2. I wish I had seen this 5 years ago before I got married!! Oh well. Anywho, you just started following my blog so I wanted to check out your blog and say, “Hi!” I love your “can do” attitude! You’re going to be a kick-arse psychotherapist with your positive perspective. I have a master’s degree in counseling, by the way. It’s a pleasure to e-meet you and I look forward to some of your positivity rubbing off on me! Celeste 🙂

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